Are your bookshelves bursting and you find yourself in need of a long overdue cleanout? If so, we’re here to help with our handy guide to the best places to donate books in Pittsburgh. Here, you’ll find local nonprofits, libraries, and other organizations doing yeoman’s work in Pittsburgh when it comes to repurposing used books.

Livy’s Library

Donation Type: Drop off, Pick up from you
Location: Drop off location is The Black Cat Market, 5135 Penn Ave in Garfield
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm; Sun-Sat 10am-4pm
Donation Tax Receipt: No
Website: Livy’s Library

How to Donate

You can fill out a form on their website to arrange a pick up date for ease, or drop your books off at The Black Cat Market. Livy’s Library also encourage you to buy books from their Amazon wishlist.

Why We Love Livy’s Library

This fantastic organization ships age-appropriate children’s books to Pittsburgh area children for FREE! To support this brilliant initiative, children’s books of every genre can be donated at either of the drop off locations above. Your books are then added to the program where every child who signs receives one age-appropriate book per month in the mail.

Livy even includes a handy form on the site to arrange collections from your home – so there’s no excuse not to donate to this worthy cause!

University of Pittsburgh

Location: 3960 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, United States
Hours: 10am-10pm
Donation Receipt: No
Website: Pitt Library

How to Donate

The University’s already massive collection makes them a little pickier about the books they’ll accept. Their main criteria include books which are not currently owned within their collection and that conform to current criteria which is listed on their site. They are however an excellent option if you’re looking to unload textbooks or unusual titles. Unapproved drop-offs won’t be accepted so make sure you contact them first using this form.

The Mt. Lebanon Book Cellar

Location: 16 Castle Shannon Blvd, Lower Level, Pittsburgh, PA. 15228
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-4pm, Sun 1:30-4pm
Donation Receipt: No
Website: Mt. Lebanon Book Cellar

How to Donate

Connected to the Mt. Lebanon Public Library, all proceeds from your donations go towards the upkeep of the library. All books which are in good condition are accepted, they even do regular drives which ask for specific genres of book, so keep an eye on their Facebook page for these.

Donated books are sold for as little as 50 cents, with hardcovers going for around $2, meaning your books will be given a new lease of life at affordable prices for those who want easy access to literature.

By the way… we’ve got the keystone state well covered when it comes to donating books. Check out our page on where to donate books in Philadelphia for even more awesome charities!

Carnegie Library

Donation Type: Drop off
Primary Location: 4400 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh PA 15213 (main site)
Hours: Tues, Fri & Sat 10am-5pm. Wed & Thurs 12pm-7pm
Other Locations: Use this link to find your nearest location
Type of Books Accepted: Most, provided the condition is good
Type of Books Not Accepted: Older books with inaccurate information
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: Carnegie Library

How to Donate

The Library accepts gently used, or like-new books. Most donated items are sold in book sales, the proceeds of which go toward supporting the Library. In some cases, if a truly rare title is donated, these will be added to the library’s collection. 

If you wish to donate 4-10 boxes worth, be to sure to contact them first to arrange a time to drop them off. Otherwise, there are numerous drop-offs throughout the city making donating as easy as possible. Contact your local drop-off here for their specific opening hours.

A whopping 19 locations in and around Pittsburgh means there’s no excuse to not utilize their drop-off points. The chances are there’s at least one on or near your daily commute. Their mission is to engage the community in literacy and learning, and your donated books are a fantastic way to support that.

Donations will also go to support the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Pittsburgh Prison Book Project

Donation Type: Scheduled drop off
Location: 134 E. Elizabeth Street Pittsburgh, PA 15207
Opening Hours: Contact them to schedule a drop off:
Type of Books Not Accepted: Religious texts, spiral bound books, encyclopedias
Donation Receipt: Yes
Website: Pittsburgh Prison Book Project

How to Donate

This non-profit organization sends reading and educational materials to prisoners across Pennsylvania. They aren’t picky about titles but they do have a wishlist for the books they need the most.

You can access their donation guidelines here; they accept a wide variety of book-related goods from atlases to trade manuals!

Photo credit: @bookempgh

Why We Love the Pittsburgh Prison Book Project

They’re dedicated to improving the quality of life for the incarcerated, and believe that education is an integral part of rehabilitation. Ex-offenders who are given access to books and other educational resources are less likely to re-offend and so helping this cause allows you to take part in improving society, a fantastic motive for donating used books in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

Donation Type: Drop off
Location: 214 N. Lexington St. Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Opening Hours: 11am-5pm
Type of Books Accepted: Books about arts, DIY, vintage books
Donation Tax Receipt: No
Website: PCCR

How to Donate

A more niche place to donate, this center specializes in arts and crafts, meaning they’re looking for books about arts, crafts or DIY (though they do accept vintage books too).

Though they are only a small operation, their volunteers advocate the benefits of learning through creativity.

Where To Donate Books in Pittsburgh: The Sparknotes

  • Livy’s Library
  • University of Pittsburgh 
  • The Mt. Lebanon Book Cellar
  • Carnegie Library
  • Pittsburgh Prison Book Project
  • Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

Now there’s no excuse not to have a clear-out of the volumes gathering dust. Pittsburgh has a host of worthy causes who would love your books!